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Ishiyamadera Temple, Otsu

4.3
#2 of 156 in Things to do in Otsu
Religious Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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Legend says that Lady Murasaki Shikibu commenced writing the world's oldest novel "The Tale of Genji" in Ishiyamadera Temple, in August 1004, inspired by the full moon. Two warrior statues guard the entrance of the temple, enclosed with thick forest and areas covered in rich moss. See the main hall, one of the national treasures displaying a mineral wollastonite and an image of the Goddess of Mercy, also considered a cultural treasure. The golden Buddha statue inhabits the ornate pagoda-style temple. Deeper in the gardens, see the life-size sculpture of Lady Murasaki Shikibu. Make Ishiyamadera Temple part of your personalized Otsu itinerary using our Otsu trip planner.
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Ishiyamadera Temple reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
359 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • Loved this temple complex. The garden at the bottom of the hill is beautiful, with ponds and streams and moss. Up the hill it is airy and dotted with interesting buildings. 
    Loved this temple complex. The garden at the bottom of the hill is beautiful, with ponds and streams and moss. Up the hill it is airy and dotted with interesting buildings.  more »
  • We drove southward from the center of Otsu City along Lake Biwa. As we drove on, the lake became narrower, and finally became a river, Seta River. When the river started running southward, we got... 
    We drove southward from the center of Otsu City along Lake Biwa. As we drove on, the lake became narrower, and finally became a river, Seta River. When the river started running southward, we got...  more »
Google
  • (Trip was made back then on 24 Nov 2019, 2 years before the Covid-19 Pandemic hit) Was really looking forward to visiting the autumn foliage at Ishiyama-dera Temple. The entrance to the temple was simply breathtaking. Unfortunately by the time we arrived the season was reaching it’s end, but thankfully most of the trees have yet to shed their leaves and we’re able to witness the beautiful sight. The temple is the 13th holy site of the Saikoku 33 Kannon Pilgrimage, the pilgrimage of 33 Temples dedicated to Kannon (Guan Yin) dotted around the Saikoku (Kansai) region. It is also known for their autumn leaves. The temple ground is covered in beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow, eliciting a sense of warmth and comfort amidst the chilling autumn air. We immersed ourselves in its beauty that we nearly lost track of time (spent almost 4 hours there). Am very grateful that we got to experience and appreciate the beauty. Would definitely revisit if we had the chance.
  • Beautiful rock formations throughout but the autumn leaves viewing is one of the best and well worth a visit. It’s very popular with the Japanese for a truly authentic visit.

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